Urawa coach clears Washington for final

Urawa Reds coach Holger Osieck has cleared Brazilian striker Washington to start in the AFC Champions League final with Iran's Sepahan on Wednesday despite his recent bad behaviour.

Washington was yellow-carded for kicking water bottles in anger when he was elbowed in his nose, which had been broken a few weeks earlier, just before the final whistle in Urawa's 1-1 J-League draw with Kawaski Frontale on Sunday.

He also took a penalty, and scored, after being fouled, ignoring Osieck's order to let Brazilian team-mate Rob Ponte take the spot kick.

"It was an understandable reaction," said Osieck of the 32-year-old former Atletico Paranaense player's outburst at his bleeding nose. "You can imagine it hurts and a normal reaction is that you show some emotion.

"I think any other player would have responded the same way," said the German coach.

"Therefore, I don't see any problem for tomorrow. There's still a referee who can and will protect the players and there shouldn't be any problems for tomorrow."

Urawa, the J-League and Emperor's Cup holders, and Sepahan clash for their first continental title after drawing 1-1 in the first leg last week in Iran.